A Glasgow convenience store owner, exposed as the ‘king-pin’ in an illicit alcohol supply ring, has been sentenced for his crimes at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Raminder Singh Gosal, who ran Mindy’s Mini Mart in Glasgow, pleaded guilty to counterfeiting thousands of UK excise duty labels and evading over £47,000 in alcohol duty and VAT.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) raids had discovered almost 5,000 counterfeit UK duty paid alcohol labels and substantial sums of sterling, dollars and euros in his store, Porsche and van.

He had been using the counterfeit labels to divert alcohol, intended for sale abroad, into the local market and evading the UK excise duty.

HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service assistant director, Anne-Marie Gordon, said: “Gosal’s actions cheated the exchequer out of significant sums of money, which funded a lifestyle well beyond his legitimate income.

“His counterfeiting fraud allowed him to sell cases of spirits at a very low price, giving him an unfair advantage over his honest competitors.

“Gosal set out to deliberately defraud taxpayers and line his own pockets at the expense of vital public services, which alcohol duty and VAT help to fund. HMRC won’t hesitate to investigate where we suspect that illicit alcohol is being sold.”

He pleaded guilty to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of Excise Duty and Value Added Tax and to having knowingly accepted, received or used counterfeited or falsified HMRC documents, namely 4,908 UK duty labels, both charges being contrary to the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Gosal was sentenced to carry out a 200 hour Community Payback Order to be completed within 12 months, a 10-month restriction of liberty order between 7pm and 7am, and a 12 month Prohibition Order.